Ask Demetria: How Do I Get My Jump Off to Open Up More?



Dear Demetria:

"I’m having sex with a man that I would like to get to know better. I’m not trying to rush into anything; I would just like to be a little more knowledgeable about the person who is sexing me. I’ve invited him over when we talk, but he never comes. However, when he wants to have sex, he’ll ask me to meet him in various places, such as his mother’s house. I would like to be somewhere comfortable, but he seems at ease with risky places. I’m confused and not sure how to communicate with him. Any advice?" —Anonymous

I’m in support of single, consenting adults having all the safe, consensual sex they desire, whether it’s an established relationship or a one-night stand or a friends-with-benefits scenario. Your body and with whom you share it is your business.

That said, you’re hustling backward here. You want to get to know the person you’re sharing your body with now? That’s a matter that should have been worked out before you hopped into bed—or wherever y’all are having sex. Also, don’t lie to yourself about what you want here. You’re not having sex with this man because you only want a good time. You also want an emotional connection—hence, you’re inviting him over to talk and get to know each other.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a connection. But what is wrong is trying to use sex to get it. A lot of people make that mistake, and they quickly realize that the connection doesn’t last beyond the sexual engagement, if even then.

When you began this situation, you were offering sex with no strings attached, and he accepted. Now you’re trying to change the rules midway through the game. You have the absolute right to change your mind about what you’re looking for, and he has the absolute right to want to keep things as they are.

You have to start paying attention to what’s going on, though. This man has made it clear that he is interested only in having sex with you, not building a relationship with you. It’s why he’s never available to talk or spend time when there’s no sex involved, but he can quickly find the time and a corner in his mama’s house when he’s ready, willing and able. Is he even that available when you’reinterested in sex, or is sex also solely on his terms? I’m guessing that he isn’t, since he won’t even compromise to have sex in a place you would find “comfortable.”

You’re selling yourself way short here, hon. Not only does this guy sound uninterested in you beyond sex, but it also sounds as if he may be committed to someone else. Is it that he doesn’t have his own home in which to have sex with you? Or is it that there is someone else—his girlfriend or wife—who lives in the home he has, which is why you can’t go there?

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Ask Demetria: "I Accidentally Exposed My Partner to an STD!"

Girl, what?

Dear Demetria:

I started talking to this guy and he was great—everything I could ask for and more. There’s just one problem: I have a sexually transmitted disease, and I was completely embarrassed and scared to tell him, especially after the way I have been treated in the past. I kept it to myself and continued to take care of myself.

One night, we were messing around and he went inside raw and my heart dropped. I told him about the STD the next day and all hell broke loose. I cry every night, and now that we don’t speak anymore, I have this cloud over my head because I miss him and wish this wasn’t my life. Should I call him or continue to give him his space?” —Anonymous

Give him his space.

I sympathize with how upset you are. You’re embarrassed about your sexually transmitted infection, which is a common feeling. And when you’ve been up-front with potential partners in the past, you’ve encountered a lot of rejection from people that you cared for and wanted to be accepted by. I understand why you would be scared to divulge your health status to new partners.

But you have to understand that your fear isn’t a valid excuse to put someone else’s health at risk, which is what you’ve done in this instance. You’ve indicated that you really care for this man, but what you’ve done says otherwise. It’s actually quite selfish. And scary.

Sex doesn’t just happen. There’s a buildup to it. You knew you had an STD that you hadn’t told him about when you began removing your clothes. But instead of spoiling the moment by stopping and explaining—which actually would have showed you cared for your partner by allowing him to make an informed decision about sex—you robbed him of that opportunity. Even just asking him to wear a condom would have been better than remaining silent.

I will assume that you apologized to him the next day when you told him about your STD and “all hell broke loose.” If you’ve done that, there’s no need to call him now.

But as you’re contemplating this event and seemingly still hoping that things can work out between you two in the long run, I wonder if you fully understand how awful this situation is. Good health is priceless, and you put his at risk. You’ve demonstrated to him in a very fundamental way that he cannot trust you. While I know you want him back, he would be very foolish to return—or even pick up the phone—given this set of circumstances. To be clear: It’s not because you have an incurable STD—but because you lied to him by omission and put him at risk.

There’s something else you should consider here: getting tested. You weren’t in a committed relationship with this man, and you two had obviously not been tested together, or he would have known about your STD. Something else that’s obvious is that he’s OK with having condomless sex with women he’s not even in a committed relationship with. Who knows how many other women he’s had sex with without a condom and what he may have been exposed to and exposed you to? Having one STD doesn’t prevent you from getting other ones.



Ask Demetria: How Do I Get My Lady to Trim the Hair 'Down There'?

Grass that needs to be cut... Dear Demetria:

Is it polite for a man to ask a lady to trim herself “down there”? She really likes me to give her oral, but it’s difficult with so much growth. I’ve hinted about it, but she never seems to get it, and I’m considering the direct approach. Just don’t want to offend her, but I can’t take it anymore. Help! —Anonymous

An April 2014 Pace University survey, “How We Date, Have Sex, and Form Relationships Today,” included a section on the state of hair “down there.” Of the respondents, just 10 percent of men and 20 percent of women said they did no landscaping to their lawns, which I found startling, since questions like yours come up with startling frequency. The report found that the vast majority of people say they trim the hedges, and a third of women say they remove all the “greenery” (0 percent of men said they do), but I’m skeptical. Either folks are lying or the people who encounter the nonmaintenance types are a very vocal bunch—and understandably so.

Hair there is entirely natural and normal. But if she’s inviting you to her yard, she should at the very least organize and clean before you arrive. To not do so is the mark of a poor hostess. You’re trying to be a polite guest, with all the hinting and such, but just as when you visit someone’s home and ask for a glass of water if he or she doesn’t offer, you’ve got to speak up here, too, and let your hostess know what you’d like during your visit.

You’re frustrated that she hasn’t been taking hints well, but try not to let that get the best of you when you make your entirely reasonable request. Ask nicely for what you want—don’t demand—and add how much you enjoy her yard. (People are often supersensitive when anything about sex is critiqued, even when constructive.) Say you would just like a little more landscaping to occur to make your visit more pleasant, and ask what she thinks about that.

Essentially what you’re requesting is a little assistance from her to help you give her more pleasure more often. This should go over without much of a hitch.

A week later, our gentleman was back with a follow-up:

I took your advice, and my girlfriend got very angry. She said I “should be happy to get this [sex] and stop complaining.” Not sure what to do now except maybe get used to it. Unless you have any other advice ...

Seriously? Some people just don’t know which battles to fight, because this should not be one. She has you, a partner who is willing to please, and she won’t make a small concession to make it more convenient? This is a clear-cut case of blocking your blessings!

I respect her right to manicure her lawn how she pleases. But since she’s unwilling to accommodate guests, you should stop visiting.

The Root: "Everything You Were Afraid to Ask About Love"

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If you ask Demetria Lucas what she thinks, be prepared for a jolt of raw reality. For the past few years life coach Lucas has dished out advice on everything from bad BFFs, falling for your FWB (friend with benefits) and freaky sex at her website, A Belle in Brooklyn, and in her column, Ask Demetria, at The Root.

She pulled together some of her favorite questions, and no-holds-barred responses, for a tantalizing new book, Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love.

The Root: What does the title mean: Don’t Waste Your Pretty?

Demetria Lucas: “Pretty” is shorthand for all the resources that women take for granted in the dating marketplace and often give away to the wrong person. Your “pretty” is your energy, emotional investment, time, listening skills, nurturing, sex, sacrifices, cheerleading, hand-holding, etc. The “pretty” I refer to in the book title is also a resource, but it’s the least important of what you bring to the table. Pretty gets you noticed across the room, but it’s everything else you bring to the table that keeps a potential partner calling and coming back.

TR: A lot of what you teach is old-school values: respecting yourself, protecting your health, your well-being and your money. Do you feel your message about values is getting through?

DL: I do. A lot of women—and men—didn’t get much guidance about how to date or create healthy relationships. They don’t know what they’re supposed to do, or not. They’re just doing the best they can.

I’ve had countless people write in to say they were skeptical of my advice, but what they were doing wasn’t working, so they figured, “Why not try what Belle said? I’ll speak to my mate a little softer. I’ll ask for what I want. I’ll stop looking away when a guy makes eye contact and I’ll smile instead.” And it worked. All people want is results, and if values get that, they’re happy to embrace it.

TR: You credit your parents and their marriage a lot with your ability to sort out the rights and wrongs of relationships. Do you think most women—or most of the women you counsel—are still looking for marriage? Or do they just want a relationship, even if it’s without the ring?

DL: Absolutely, for the vast majority of my readers and clients, marriage is still the ultimate goal. The single ladies want a relationship, then a ring, then a husband and then some kids. The women in long-term relationships still want a ring. The “mothers of child” want to become wives, if not to the father of their child, then to someone. There’s great fretting about the possibility of never getting married. “Just” a relationship is not enough.

TR: When you’ve met some of these women at book signings or other events, what kinds of things do they tell you about the advice you gave them?

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"We had sex 360 days out of the year. It was more times than that."—Wife.

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So here's the great -and odd and occasionally troubling- thing about being a dating and relationship coach: people you know and don't know love to pull you aside in unexpected settings and tell you their business. They think you've heard it all before so nothing should shock you OR they know you’ve heard a lot and they want to shock you.

I consider most of what they say in these conversations off-limits to write about because even if it's free advice and I'm not using names, I'm being solicited in the capacity of a coach. I draw a line at discussing private client business.

Anyway, the story I'm telling today isn't from a client, but from a cousin and his wife, so I guess it's cousins plural.

When I was a kid, I lived in Houston for a few years. A family-- who actually turned out to be blood-- sort of adopted me and my folks in their city. There was a daughter and three younger brothers. The two youngest sibs were around my age and I spent the most time with them. The two older sibs-- 8-10 years our senior--made sure we didn't kill ourselves. The daughter was my baby sitter.

So I go to Houston, which I haven't been to since I was 16-- as part of OraQuick + Essence's healthy relationships tour. I'm only in town for a day and ask my family to stop by my hotel to say "hi." We don't have much time together, so after we catch up and take a few pics, the eldest boy, my "Cousin-brother", offers to take me to the airport since he and his wife live out that way anyway. Perfect.

I'm thinking this will be a "normal" ride where people who have known me forever tease me about all the dumb ish I did as a kid. But nooooo! Cuzzo and his wife have other plans for this 45-minute trek.

It starts when we pull out of the parking lot and he says, "so who this n----a you fixxinta marry, D?" And then everything goes hilariously left from there.

Cousin-brother and his wife are in their 40s and have two children together. They've been together 22 years and married for 14. They are joyously happy in their relationship-- my assessment, not their boasting-- and they want to offer me some marriage advice. Great.

After the curveball, the conversation starts easy enough. Cousin-brother says you never stop dating your wife. They're married, but they make a point to act like boyfriend and girlfriend.

Okay. I've heard that before. I can get with that.

He says that's how couples keep the romance going. That, and having sex every day.

"I'm sorry, what?" I ask. I couldn’t have heard that right. Daily?!

He repeats himself like he doesn't think I heard him.

I flip around in the front seat-- his wife insisted I sit there-- to look at Wife. She nods and co-signs, sorta. "Well, not every day. Last year, I counted and we missed 5 days."


Me to Wife: "you had sex. 360 times. In ONE YEAR?"

"No, no, no," she clarifies. We had sex 360 days out of the year. It was more times than that."

She's looking at me like this is the most normal thing in the world. He's driving along like this conversation isn't a joke. I wait for someone to laugh. I'm clearly being "Punked."

But nope. They're forreal, forreal. This is their normal.

Cousin-brother fills the silence since I am at a loss for words. "Every night, some mornings. But at night she likes to dress up."

He says that every night, Wife fully does her hair and make-up and slips into lingerie. I turn back around for her to verify this. She nods.

"If we had time we could swing by the house and give you a bag full," he says. "We have drawers and drawers of it."

I'm not thinking about it being odd to wear another woman's undergarments even if they're clean. I look at his wife. I look at me. She's maybe a 4. I am a 10, tops.* There's no way.

She knows what I'm thinking. "I’ve lost 97 pounds. We have some in every size."


It took her a year and a half to take the weight off. You know how some folk lose weight and start to look bobble-heady. She looks like she's always been skinny.

I wonder if it's from all the sex. I can deal with the treadmill to work out, but I'd enjoy the sex more. Maybe there's something to this sex everyday theory...

She reads my mind. "We work out all the time."


Cousin-brother pipes in. "All we do is work, work out, and have sex."


Wife says she knows this all sounds a little off. They're very open about their sex life-- they gave details I'm skipping over-- and their friends all have my "really?" reaction.

Cousin- Brother: “And I'm like "really? Ya'll don't have sex every day? It's good! Why not?"

When referring to them as a couple, their friends call them “The Humps”, which I find friggin hilarious.

I inform him that 15 percent of married couples have not had sex in six months, according to a story I read in the NY Times. And surveys say that the average married couple has sex once a week. Under 30 marrieds have it about twice a week.

He swerves. If she was wearing pearls she would clutch them. I laugh.

They know they're funny and believe their only "slightly" unusual. They think it would be fun to have a reality TV show of the "Family Hustle" and "Chrissy + Mr. Jones" variety.

"Do you think people would be interested in us?" Wife asks as we pull up to the airport.

Oh, she has no clue. They are made for TV.

I suggest they start a blog about their lives to gauge interest. I swear to her it will be an immediate hit.

Check it out: here